Costco pulls Palmetto Cheese; for second time this year, some shoppers call for boycotts

Costco has pulled Palmetto Cheese from 120 of its stores after the owner of the pimento cheese brand called Black Lives Matter a terror organization.


Costco has pulled Palmetto Cheese, a brand of pimento cheese, from 120 of its stores. The decision came after the owner of Palmetto Cheese, Brian Henry, called the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements terrorist organizations in a Facebook post on August 25.

The post, which has since been deleted, stated: 

"I am sickened by the senseless killings in Georgetown last night. 2 [sic] innocent people murdered. Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man. So why do we stand by and allow BLM to lawlessly destroy great American cities and threaten their citizens on a daily basis ... This has gone on too long. Rise up America. This BLM and Antifa movement must be treated like the terror organizations they are."

Henry issued an apology on September 3 where he called his own comments "hurtful and insensitive." 

"I spent that past 10 days listening and learning," he said at a press conference. "The conversations I've had with friends, our staff, the community and faith-based leaders provided me with a deeper understanding of racial inequality and the importance of diversity sensitivity, which is very much needed to heal Pawleys Island, Georgetown, and our country."

Social media reaction to Costco's decision

In light of Henry's post, many shoppers took to social media to demand Costco and other stores stop stocking the cheese. After the store appeared to react by pulling the product, some customers applauded. 

Others objected and some threatened to boycott Costco for pulling Palmetto Cheese.

Costco did not respond when asked about the decision to pull Palmetto from its stores. However, a picture obtained by the The Post and Courier shows a sign at Costco which says Palmetto cheese is "discontinued" and "will not be reordered."

Henry confirmed to the paper that Costco was no longer ordering Palmetto Cheese but added that the store often rotates product and "we remain optimistic that Palmetto Cheese will be back on the shelves in the not too distant future."

Shopping decisions have become increasingly politicized

In general, consumers have been more thoughtful, and even political, about where they spend their money. After the CEO of Goya praised President Donald Trump at the White House, consumers called for a boycott of the brand. A similar call to action was issued after the co-founder of Home Depot Bernie Marcus expressed support for re-electing President Donald Trump

This is not the first time this year that some shoppers have said they were ready to boycott Costco specifically, either. The retail giant was one of the first chains to require shoppers to wear masks, which resulted in a similarly loud resistance from some quarters and a call to cancel memberships. 

Despite that firestorm, Costco did not experience a dip in sales. In fact, U.S. net sales increased 12.5% for the quarter, according to the store's latest earnings report.

More from Grow: 

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns


About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.